An interesting experience this morning.
I was sitting on the terrace reading. It was very early. The sun had just risen.
I assumed the rest of Amorgos was still sleeping. It was. Except for one elderly Greek woman.
She came walking by. Wrinkled face. White hair. Tanned. Dressed in black dress and stockings.
She stopped and talked with me. She spoke smilingly and occasionally excitedly. In Greek, of course.
I sat there smiling at her. Nodding my head in agreement on occasion.
I never spoke a word. Nor did I understand the Greek she was throwing at me.
At the end of whatever she was telling me, she gave me a big smile and walked away.
Notice how well I speak Greek!
Yesterday, I walked. Once more to the other side of the bay. About 2 miles. My gait and wind are much better. I was moving along.
I lunched at an outdoor cafe overlooking the harbor. A spectacular view. All views are spectacular here in the Greek isles.
I ate at Demetrius’ again last night. Why not. The food is outstanding.
Demetrius’ place is nothing appearance wise. An old old small building with a beat up awning outside. Maybe a dozen small tables.
The place is packed every evening by 9.
Last night, I had ceci peas. Soft. Covered in a tomato/oil sauce. With De Vito type bread on the side to clean the plate.
My entre was a chunk of lamb and boiled potatoes covered in a similar sauce as the ceci peas. I was told the lamb was local. I suspect the poor animal had been killed within 24 hours of it showing up on the plate before me.
The lamb melted in my mouth.
I showed up for dinner at 9. Finished at 11. The Greeks eat slowly.
Then to bed.
Tonight is my last in Amorgos. I will have been here a week. I leave tomorrow for 2 days in Athens. I am returning to Athens to do some things I did not when last I was there 3 weeks ago.
I shall miss Amorgos.
Permit me to share some random observations with you about this island.
I suggested this past week that Amorgos probably had 2,000 residents. I was close. 1,859. On an island more than 50 miles long.
Amorgos is as it was 200 years ago. Perhaps even before.
The houses are concrete. All white. Each more than 200 years old. High ceilings. Irregular walls.
The people are 80 to 100 years ago. Throwbacks from another time. Simple people. Good people.
There are few cars on Amorgos. Two means of transportation exist. Your feet and three wheeled bicycles. Three wheelers all over the place with big baskets on the back.
The men generally 50 plus. Many 70 plus. Paunchy. White haired. Dress in black. The women the same. For whatever reason, the women’s faces are especially wrinkled.
The reason both sexes dress in black is that it supposedly is cooler than wearing a lighter color.
Honesty prevails! Eleni and I discovered each other when first I arrived. I had one big bag. She insisted on rolling it along. Not far. She stopped in front of a building. Note we are standing on the harbor front. Busiest place on the island. She told me to follow her. But she left my bag alone. What about my bag? Don’t worry, she said. No one will steal it.
Her husband drives a three wheel bike. He parks it outside at night on the concrete walkway in front of this building. A public thoroughfare. No lock. Any one could ride it away. No one does.
My apartment sits on the bay of Amorgos. I see the boats come in and go out. Not that many. There are no big boats. Some evenings, 2-3 big sailboats. People put in for the night. Otherwise, the boats moored or otherwise tied up in the water are small.
The predominant vessel is a row boat. Yes, these fisherman go out into the sea to catch their ware in row boats. If you think about it, it is not so strange. In Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, the fisherman was out on the ocean in a row boat the whole story.
There are some ancient type boats, also. A couple of feet longer than a row boat. A rudder in the back.
The boats are evidence of my representation that Amorgos is significantly behind the times.
Few tourists. The island is off the beaten track. Only two boats a week. I think Amorgos is absolutely fantastic! And cheap! Everything costs nothing. A person could easily live here on a Social Security check. And still have money left over!
The tourists are from all over the world. They all come for the same reasons. Peace, solitude and the cheap cost.
The locals are a happy group. Difficult to know at first. They are wary of strangers. But in less than a week, I have become a welcomed guest on their island.
There are young people. However, not that many. The proof of the pudding. There is only one disco on the island. The younger people probably leave Amorgos for bigger and better things when they come of age. I hope some of them return in due course. Everything they will be looking for in later life is already here.
Internet and wi fi service comes and goes. Every restaurant and hotel claims they have it. Impossible to find! You become adjusted. Take it in stride. Eventually it returns.
Fresh fruit a delight! An example is a gift Eleni’s husband gave me. He has a garden next to my building. It runs three stories up a little hill. Everything runs upward on Amorgos. He has an apricot tree. One day, he brought me a bowl full of apricots. They were small and ripe. Delicious. Made my mouth water.
As else where in Greece, clothes lines everywhere. Front porches, sides of buildings, where ever. Even I have had a clothesline this past week. At the far end of my terrace. For my sole use. I have used it.
I leave tomorrow at 6 in the morning. I have no choice. The two boats a week in and out both leave at 6. It is a 9 hour trip to Athens. Going to be fun. Not really. However, I am going business class and am told it will make the trip considerably easier.
Due to the time constraints tomorrow, I may not be able to do the blog. We shall see.
I have experienced four Greek places this trip. A brief evaluation is in order.
Athens I liked. It is a big city like New York. Excitement everywhere. The reason I am returning for two days more.
The best viewwise was Santorini. Spectacular. I sat with God. The food was not that good, however. Santorini is in transit. It is going from a small unknown island to a major tourist attraction. It is closer to being a major tourist attraction.
Mykonos I did not like at all. It is a tourist trap. It sells yesterday to people who want that life style. I have no desire to return to Mykonos.
Overall, Amorgos is the winner. The view is good. Plus the island has a great package otherwise. Quiet. Solitude. Good food. Nice people. The opportunity to travel at your own pace.
That’s it. The next time you hear from me will be from Athens.
Enjoy your day!